Some reports suggested that the Russian Mig 29Ks will have Zhuk AESA and more powerful engines, is that correct? If so are any reliable specs available and will these fighters use the 3D TVC capability of the Mig 35 as well?
Hard to say.
The Russian Air Force basically has to make the decision as to whether to splash out on the best available now and risk having less money for production PAK FAs... in other words buy Mig-35s now, they will be more capable now and will also remain useful for longer as a numbers aircraft, or they can go the cheap route and buy Mig-29M2s now and perhaps later on give them an upgrade to give them the capabilities of the Mig-35 eventually as the technology gets cheaper later on and then have more money to spend on PAK FAs when they are ready.
Of course with the Mig-29Ks it basically shares the Mig-29M2 airframe but with a tailhook and folding wing, but the Navy has its own budget and its own goals.
The Mig-29K is the eyes and spear of the navy... and because of the rather smaller numbers of aircraft they can probably afford to spend more per aircraft to make them more capable. But then of course they likely have future planes for a naval PAK FA for their new carriers and the Kuznetsov too.
With regard to the MMRCA, the Mig had no choice for numerous reasons. It is simply is not a modern design anymore and it's future potential is very limited.
I would very much disagree... there is no way of turning it into some sort of stealth fighter, but for a defending force a stealth fighter is not as useful as numbers of fighters linked in to a decent air defence network.
Right now WVR combat is just too dangerous, and in BVR combat the Mig-29 early models were comparable to contemporary F-15s. With new missiles and new sensors there is no reason to think they would be at any great disadvantage against current non stealthy aircraft including the Euro canards.
In the A2G field on the other side it is clearly inferior to the MKI, but offensive strikes against Chinese forces played an important role in the competition from the begining, which is why IAF wasn't too impressed by Mig 29SMT, nor of the Mig35 later.
Actually the Mig-35 could carry 2,000 litre fuel tanks on its 5 pylon wing, which means it should be able to match the Flankers capacity to carry KAB-1500 1,500kg bombs. This suggests to me that the advantage of the Flanker was largely illusionary, being able to carry a heavier payload of weapons further is only important if you need that capacity. Not every aircraft in the Air Force needs to be strategic in range. Look at how elusive the Mig-21 was in tests... smaller and cheaper can often be better... or they should have called it HMRCA.
That's why IAF initially prefered a cheap, but more multi role Mirage 2000, which would have kept logistics and training simple as well.
What makes the M2K more multirole than the Mig-35?
Second what makes the M2K that France refused to sell to India better than the Mig-35 that Russia was happy to sell to India?
That's why it's not too surprising that the 2 fighters that offers the most future potential, (EF at least on paper)the most capable cruise missiles and also the best industrial offers for India. The one that offers the most in return came out as the winner and will form a great combo with the MKI.
The EF might have all the potential in the world, but when the countries that developed it can't even be bothered developing it into a fully multirole aircraft even after it has entered service you have to ask who would get the priviledge of paying for that further development.
The Rafale will probably end up costing more than the MKIs, so you end up with much more expensive eggs, after an extended delay that in no way changed anything very much.
Ideally, India could have simply avoided all this MMRCA rubbish and bought some upgraded M2Ks and some upgraded Mig-29s and they would have ended up much better off, but the problem was that France refused to offer upgrades or more M2Ks, and so India ended up having to go through a time consuming and expensive charade to eventually pick the aircraft they were offered in the first place.
All together much more of a circus than the Gorshkov deal... but it is pretty clear who now controls the media...
With additional MKI orders, big upgrade packages coming and the FGFA co-development, Russia will remain to have a big stack in IAF anyway, so loosing MMRCA shouldn't be that much of a problem for Russia.
No problem for Russia, but not so good for Mig.
I would have thought the cheap and simple but fully multirole Mig-29SMT would have been an ideal replacement for the Mig-21s and Mig-27s and old model Mig-29s in Indian service. Give them the larger wing with 5 pylons on each from the Mig-35 and equip them with something like a Damocles pod for targeting and they will be as good for most missions as any other 4th gen aircraft. India has production rights to the third stage RD-33 engine so spare parts and maintainence shouldn't be a problem... buy the licence production rights for the parts yourself.
Materials, twin vertical tail, no intake ducts, no supercruise capabilities...,
Hahahaha... what materials does Typhoon or Rafale use that the Mig-35 does not?
Twin tail? Sorry but what is the problem?
The twin tails are positioned to get the vortex air coming off the leading edge root extensions. Replace it with a single vertical tail and that single tail would need to be enormous to reach clean undisturbed air... especially for high angle of attack manouvers.
You do realise supercruise is only useful at medium to high altitudes... places where non-stealth aircraft like the Mig-35 or Rafale or Typhoon can never just wander around in?
I guess you think supercruising comes with some sort of magic shield that will protect those high flying aircraft from long range SAMs like S-400 which would eat Rafales for breakfast at 400km range if they want to fly high and straight.
BTW the Mig-29 has a solid door that completely covers the air intake that is used for takeoffs and landings to stop stones entering the intake. Later model Migs have a grid to deflect stones that allows air to pass through so the above intake louvres are not needed, but that screen door could be designed to act as a radar blocker so that it could be deployed in flight if needed.
it's just a technically upgraded Mig 29 version, but remains with the old design and just like the F16 design, that has a limited future.
Rafale is just a twin engined upgraded Mirage 2000 with canards added. Its first name was Mirage 4000.
Typhoon is just a twin engined Ye-8 modification of a Mig-21 from the 1960s.
The only modern designs include the F-22 produced in tiny numbers and not likely to be put back into production and the F-35 whose basic design was compromised to allow a VSTOL model resulting in a more expensive aircraft of lower performance than what could have been designed.
You can upgrade certain techs, but not counter the design issues anymore and since India gets the best Russian AESAs and engines with TVC through MKI and FGFA, the Mig 35 capabilities couldn't stand out.
And how will the Rafale "stand out" amongst the upgraded Super Flanker and the FFGA?
Is it really necessary to have another heavy expensive type, or perhaps what was really needed was a simple and much much cheaper numbers aircraft that could do the real work and be everywhere?
It seems that India wants only super jets... such a mentality means real workhorses like A4s and F-16s and Buccaneers and F-4s are overlooked for shiny fast flash in the pan aircraft... Africa is full of Mig-21s when what they could probably have used more effectively was Su-25s, but who wants effective when you can have shiny and mach 2?